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19-Apr-2014 8:14pm PDT  


23rd Arizona International Film Festival

23 Annual April 11, 2014 to April 27, 2014

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127 East Congress
Tucson AZ 85701
Phone: 520-882-0204
Fax: 520-882-0204

EVENT NOW IN PROGRESS! • This event is happening right now. For more information, click to the event\'s Home Page.

Features must be over 60 minutes in length and content can be narrative, experimental or animated
Short Feature
Short features can be narrative, experimental or animated and range in running time between 30 and 60 minutes
Documentary Feature
Any documentary work over 30 minutes in length.
Documentary Short
A documentary short cannot be longer than 30 minutes.
Dramatic Short
Dramatic short cannot be longer than 30 minutes in length.
Comedy Short
Comdy shorts cannot exceed 30 minutes in length
Animated Short
Animation shorts cannot exceed 30 minutes in length
Experimental Short
Films that experiment with the language and structure of cinema and do not exceed 30 minutes in length
IndieYouth filmmakers must 18 and under in age to qualify for this category.

Remaining true to the independent spirit, the Arizona International Film Festival is a venue for independent filmmakers in search of an independent audience. The Festival is designed to showcase innovative independent works from around the world and to bring together independent filmmakers to share experiences and exchange visions of their cultures with Arizona audiences.

The Arizona International Film Festival celebrates its 23rd anniversary in April 2014. Staying true its mission of showcasing independent film, the Festival has exhibited over 2400 films representing 90 countries to over 150,000 patrons in southern Arizona. The Festival prides itself on being a Festival for the community as it exhibits programs that complement community organizations that support filmmaking, the arts, education, social work, the environment and health.


1990: Tucson welcomed the first annual Arizona International Film Festival, a four-day event held in November at the newly restored Temple of Music and Art. Audiences were treated to the surrealist animation of The Brothers Quay and transported back in time by the 1927 feature Wings, with an original score performed live by Jeffrey Haskell.

1993: The Festival reemerged in April in a new ten-day format. Films like Holly Fisher’s Bullets for Breakfast, controversial Sundance winner Swoon, and Hopi Victor Masayesva’s Imagining Indians demonstrated the Festival’s commitment to independent cinema. Visions of Light, the celebrated documentary on cinematography, was a Festival favorite.

1994: The Festival hit the road with screenings in Tempe, Sedona, Nogales, Patagonia, and Sells, and welcomed the Loft Theater as a screening venue. Filmmaker Brian Singer brought his Sundance award-winning film Public Access, and Allison Anders’ Mi Vida Loca reigned as the Festival favorite.

1995: The Festival celebrated the Film Centennial by again traveling to Arizona communities, and the Sedona visit led to the emergence of the Sedona Film Festival. Workshops highlighted the arrival of digital and web technology. The Festival emphasized Mexican Cinema, and the most popular film was Gregory Nava’s Mi Familia.

1996: Electronic screenings were added as the Festival expanded to public access television. Independent films like Fun, Synthetic Pleasures, Follow the Bitch, and acclaimed indie filmmaker Alex Cox’s Highway Patrolman all created positive buzz, but Ulu Grosbard’s Georgia ruled the day with four consecutive sold-out screenings.

1997: It was a year of firsts for the Festival: Robert Young received the first official award for independent filmmaking; the first Cine Chicano program emerged; and for the first time the Festival was made available online throughout the world. Festival favorites included Robert M. Young’s Caught and the Dinello’s Shock Asylum and Other Twisted Tales.

1998: The Irish invaded Tucson with an expanded program on contemporary Irish Cinema. The Reel Frontier Film and Video Competition made its debut with entries from across the globe. The Unholy Tarahumara, a much anticipated documentary from local filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson, premiered to sold-out houses.

1999: Cine Chicano flourished when Edward James Olmos received the Arizona Independent Film Award and the Grand Cinemas in south Tucson hosted Chicano screenings. The Festival in the Schools (F.I.T.S.) program was formally established and WB58 came on board to televise independent shorts. A Place Called Chiapas packed theaters.

2000: The Science and the Spectacle celebrated the year 2000 with a special millennium program that highlighted the intersections of science and cinema. African-American filmmaker Charles Burnett was honored with the Arizona Independent Film Award and his quirky feature The Annihilation of Fish, along with Will Conroy’s Catalina Thrust, thrilled sold-out houses at The Loft.

2001: On its 10th Anniversary, a special program highlighted films and filmmakers from past Festivals. New light was shed on Chicano issues and cinema in the popular Cine Chicano and Chiapas Media Project programs. Animator, filmmaker and Festival favorite Bill Plympton screened his latest film, Mutant Aliens, and won the Arizona Independent Film Award.

2002: The Opening Night Ceremony served as a special tribute to the brave independent filmmakers who captured unique perspectives of the World Trade Center tragedy for the screen. The Arizona Independent Film Award was presented to New York City filmmakers for their collaborative efforts. Spotlighting homegrown works from Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, and aboriginal Australia, the Festival’s special focus was on Indigenous Cinema.

2003: In an ironic twist, the Festival celebrated the American Western while awarding the Arizona Independent Film Award to First NationsFirst Features’ Canadian writer, actor, producer, and director, Shirley Cheechoo. The Festival incorporated the quirky documentaries of Bill Brown, the penetrating work of experimental filmmaker James Fotopoulos, and international work from locations as widely varied as Iran, Rwanda, and Mali. Among viewer favorites were the documentaries Spellbound and Our Town as well as the dramatic shorts Rosso Fango and White Like the Moon.

2004: Cine Sin Fronteras paid special attention to issues surrounding immigration in the Southwest and among union workers and activists across the United States. Pepe Urquijo was awarded the Arizona Independent Film Award for his socially conscious filmmaking. The continued emphasis on Chicano and Latin American cinema at the Festival was matched by strong international efforts from Australia and the Middle East.

2005: The Festival opened with the eagerly anticipated film, How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer by UA alumni Georgina Reidel Garcia. A record number of international entries were selected for The Reel Frontier competition. Cinema without Borders expanded its scope to investigate the disparate nations of Israel and Palestine. The Rialto Theatre and Hotel Congress, two of downtown Tucson’s most historically significant buildings, became new venues for the Festival.

2006: For its 15th anniversary, the Festival resumed efforts to raise border issues awareness by opening with a panel discussion titled Immigration: Where Do We Go from Here, followed by a screening of Joseph Mathew’s incisive documentary, Crossing Arizona. The Festival in the Schools program introduced students to independent filmmaking and continued Bridging Cultures by discussing the underrepresention of certain nationalities and social backgrounds in mainstream media.

2007: Broadening its ongoing theme of Bridging Cultures, the Festival collaborated with the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center to bring Pan Asian Cinema to the silver screen via the eagerly anticipated A Dream in Doubt as well as numerous other features and shorts. IndieYouth, yet another new addition to the Festival, incorporated short films to show this younger demographic the joys of independent cinema.

2008: The Festival commenced with festivities at the famous Fox Theater, Tucson's only movie palace and the site of Hollywood Chinese's opening night screening with director Arthur Dong in attendance. Festival favorites included Rocco DeVilliers' The Flyboys, which won the Best Narrative Feature award, and the winning documentaries Circus Rosaire and Sozdar, She Who Lives Her Promise.

2009: Filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson returned to the Festival with her new documentary, Rita of the Sky, which won Best Documentary Feature and Best of Arizona. International participation grows and audiences listened to fourteen languages (five Native American) in subtitled films from all parts of the globe. Spanish filmmakers were highlighted in special Cine Español programs. Funding from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences helped the expansion of the Festival-in-the-Schools program

2010: Despite budget cuts, the Festival featured 95 films from 16 countries. Winning films included a feature from Iran (Be Calm and Count to 7), a comedy from Australia (Celestial Avenue) and a documentary from Canada (65_Red Roses). The Festival-in-the-Schools increased its youth participation by 20% and The Art Institute of Tucson hosted an exciting Awards Night ceremony.

2011: This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Festival, and
thanks to a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, the program was expanded to 20 days in celebration. Journey to Zanskar started things off at the beautiful Fox Tucson Theater, and there were outreach screenings in Arivaca, Patagonia, Saddlebrooke, and Alamos, Mexico. Notable films included Happy, The Avenue, Boys of Bonneville, So Close to Perfect, and Man Made Men.

2012: In keeping with this year's theme, Cinema Carnival, the Festival
opened on six screens simultaneously at the Crossroads Festival
Cinemas 6 amidst a rollicking party. Two Americans, More Than
Frybread, and Shouting Secrets were among the most popular films of
the Festival.

Giulio Scalinger (Festival Director)

April 11 - 27

The Arizona International Film Festival celebrates and rewards excellence and innovation in independent film. We are now accepting new works from around the world to be part of the independent landscape of the “reel frontier.”

The Arizona International Film Festival is open to independent works of all lengths in narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental categories.

- Films and videos entered in the festival must have been completed
between January 2013 and January 2014
- Works entered must be an Arizona premiere.
- Arizona entries may have had one public Arizona screening.
- Entries must be in English or have English subtitles
- For festival screenings, finalists must supply a Blu-Ray disc (NTSC or PAL format) and/or a DVD disc (NTSC or PAL format) or film prints in 35mm or 16mm formats.

Entries must be submitted in one of the following categories:
Feature (Narrative, Animated, Experimental) (over 60 minutes)
Short Feature (Narrative, Animated, Experimental) (30 – 60 minutes)
Documentary Feature (over 30 minutes)
Documentary Short (up to 30 minutes)
Dramatic Short (up to 30 minutes)
Comedy Short (up to 30 minutes)
Animated Short (up to 30 minutes)
Experimental Short (up to 30 minutes)
IndieYouth (filmmaker must be 18 or younger) (up to 15 minutes)

If the pre-screening committee judges that it is in the best interest of the filmmaker to change the category of an entry, the committee reserves the right to do so. Awards will be made to the BEST in each category. The BEST OF ARIZONA also will be awarded to an Arizona entry.

All submitted entries are reviewed by a Selection Committee and evaluated according to content, form and technical aspects. The Selection Committee and the Festival Director will determine the entries to be screened during the festival. Entrants will be notified by email as to the status of the entry.

Filmmakers, curators, educators and critics will select festival award recipients from the finalists screened during the festival. Judges reserve the right not to select a winner in any given category. All decisions by the judges are final.

Submit entry with and send DVD screener (NTSC or PAL format) and publicity materials to:
Arizona International Film Festival, 127 East Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA

Our selection process prefers DVD screeners - on-line screeners are accepted. DVDs, stills, press kits and posters submitted with your entry will not be returned.

$60/$50* for works submitted in feature categories
$35/$30* for works submitted in short categories
$25/$20* for works under 5 minutes
$10 for IndieYouth works

All entries and publicity materials must be received by the Festival deadline of
February 3, 2014. * Early bird submitted by January 10, 2014

An entry fee must be paid for each submission. Fee covers administrative and handling costs and is non-refundable. If you have not paid your entry fee through Withoutabox, make check or money order payable to Arizona International Film Festival and include with your DVD screener.

Entrants are advised to submit publicity materials (press kits, posters and publicity photos) with your entry as this facilitates the publicizing of your film if accepted. Press materials can be submitted in an electronic format (photos should be 300dpi).

Clearly identify the title of the work on the shipping container. Finalists are responsible for arrangements and cost of shipping the exhibition print or tape to the festival by March 28, 2014.

The festival will cover the cost of return shipping within the United States. The festival will NOT pay for the cost of express shipping to other sites or international shipping. Please include payment to cover express or international shipping costs if required. Work screened at the festival will be shipped within 20 days of the close of the film festival unless other arrangements have been made.

Every care will be taken to safeguard entries while they are in the possession of the festival. However, if loss or damage occurs, the festival cannot accept or assume responsibility.

Entry into festival constitutes agreement with all festival rules and guidelines and implies permission to exhibit work during the festival. Submission of an entry gives the festival permission to screen accepted work on local television and internet, unless otherwise indicated.

For further information:
Web Site:


23rd Arizona International Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless 23rd Arizona International Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.